During the 10 years that I’ve been fighting to restrain government surveillance, many people have thought I was focused on defending privacy.

That’s certainly part of it, but it isn’t the whole picture. The primary concern I had throughout this time, informed by history, was protecting dissent.

This week, my former colleagues at the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the San Francisco Police Department’s illegal surveillance of Black Lives Matter protests in which I—and many of our supporters—participated earlier this year.

The lawsuit neatly encapsulates several problems at once:

  • the challenges enforcing local laws that limit law-enforcement agencies reluctant to embrace reform
  • the danger of privacy violations suppressing dissent—and thereby democracy
  • the dangerous collusion between private and public institutional actors to undermine the interests of the public

Many of us saw these problems coming. That’s why I spent a decade working to prevent them before running for Congress.

I’m running to replace Pelosi today as an extension of that struggle. Pelosi has been an architect of the bipartisan surveillance state, which I’ve fought from the halls of Congress—even without a seat—to city councils and state legislatures across the country.

My work fighting the surveillance state dates back to 2008.

In 2017, I authored parts of our nation’s leading local civil rights law, adopted in Providence, Rhode Island.

In 2019, I advocated for the nation’s first municipal ban on face surveillance here in San Francisco (which the SFPD is also reportedly violating).

The movement to dismantle the surveillance state will need to proceed on many fronts at once. Thanks to your support, I’m excited to serve in an arena where, together, we can restrain not just the SFPD, but also the FBI, NSA, CIA, ICE, CBP, and all the other three-letter agencies that abuse the rights of Americans.

I’m honored by the opportunity to be the first Democrat in 30 years to challenge the sitting Speaker of the House, and look forward to representing your voice in Washington.